The difference between pro-life and anti-antiabortion...

If there’s one thing I have been convinced of over the years, it’s that some Pro Life® organizations try balancing an apparent allegiance to God’s “no” with a false notion of propriety. I say “balance," but what it comes down to is that some of these organizations absolutely will not ever say “no,” but then they’ll tell you “no!” when you actually say God’s “no”…you know?

Saying God’s “no” is antithetical to the peace they enjoy, but their peace is only what the world has to offer. God's "no" disrupts the equilibrium of an otherwise airy existence...

But then when someone else says God’s “no," it draws attention to the fact these Pro Life® groups won't say "no," and it’s embarrassing, really. Why they refuse to say “no” is quite principled, we’re assured; but I think it boils down to the following:

  • A false sense of propriety, and
  • Self-preservation

Some may balk at my number two, but keep in mind that there is no Pro Life® movement unless abortion continues. There are ministries and careers to preserve—not just babies. But more, no one wants to give money to organizations that are impolite. These groups need our money for their salaries.

Take, for instance, Oklahoma's Holy Innocents Foundation (HIF), a group dedicated to the adoration of the Eucharist on behalf of the unborn... HIF is located 20 feet from their local abortuary (they draw attention to this fact on their website):

Both the abortuary and HIF are located in what appears to be a commercial park, meaning each building owner can exercise their property rights.

HIF’s Roman Catholic witness against the child-murder going on a mere twenty feet away has been largely silent, but then Evangelicals called Abolish Human Abortion (AHA) began to testify from HIF's property lines. They assumed HIF was their co-belligerent so they preached God’s “no” and offered assistance to those planning to murder their babies. Then started the conflict.

HIF worked in concert with the other businesses in the business park to file a police report with inaccuracies about what AHA has been saying and doing, and HIF labeled the AHA Evangelicals a "hate group."

When one antiabortion group is called a "hate group" by another, typically it means the organization attacking the "hate group" doesn't like the "hate group's" words and actions and they fear any association with them. It's my conviction that what usually underlies that fear is a sense of shame at the second group's courageous and sacrificial words and actions.

Reading between the lines of HIF’s own account, it sounds like they actually spearheaded the debacle. Notice the url “response to ‘abolish human abortion’ agitators." (In case HIF kills the link, here’s a pdf of its present content). Note this statement:

We asked the other owners their opinions and they said leave it be.

Leave what be?

The AHA group. Sounds like the other businesses were shrewd and, hating conflict, were content simply to ignore AHA. But not the anti-antiabortion Pro Life group HIF:.

After multiple calls to WAPD from other office complex residents, the police asked and it was unanimous that they (AHA) should remain on public space not on private.

In order to witness, AHA needed to be on HIF’s property. Notice HIF’s attempt at distancing itself from these calls. It says there were multiple calls from other office complex residents. I wonder if they mean multiple calls from employees in their own complex? Maybe from their complex and the abortion mill complex? The other businesses wanted to be hands-off until the police department entered into the equation.

HIF dips their hands in the ceremonial bowl to remove any appearance of guilt… the decision was unanimous they tell us… AHA should remain on public space. HIF’s hands are tied. You see, it was a democratic vote.

No, it’s HIF’s property and they brag about it being a mere twenty feet away from the abortuary. The other businesses did not trump HIF’s property rights: HIF purposed to block AHA from testifying against abortion.

Today, if AHA members speak God's "no" within that commercial park, there will be police intervention because HIF said "no" to God's "no."

HIF tells us how effective their ministry is in comparison to AHA. HIF has saved 6 babies with a full-time staff, volunteers, donations, Eucharistic adoration, and a conveniently located piece of property. Also by barring another group that is actually anti-abortion from Protestant preaching on their property. By an unfunded group of men who preach for no pay as their work schedules allow. Through God's power, these Evangelicals have saved two babies. ...that they know of.

May God bless the efforts of these faithful men, and He bring HIF to repentance.

For those who think it's possible AHA is testifying in an unseemly way, here is a typical example of their witness.

Comments

The actual difference here is between that of the Abolitionist and the Prolifer.

“Abolitionist” is not a synonym for “pro-lifer.”

Pro-life is the expression of a moral opinion. Abolition is the expression of a moral action. When you call yourself “pro-life” you are letting people know what you think about abortion. When you call yourself an abolitionist, you are telling them what you aim to do about it.

Pro-lifers prefer gradual, over immediate, abolition.

Abolitionism has historically been wed to the doctrine of immediatism.  The history of the pro-life movement has been one of gradualistic means and measures, incremental legislation, ameliorative programs, and the inclusion of exceptions to abortion along the way to its eventual total abolition. Abolitionists reject the idea that you can effectively fight evil by allowing it in some cases or doing away with it by planned incremental steps. Abolitionists reject the notion that you can ever commit a little evil in order that good may come. Abolitionists cry NO COMPROMISE!!! Pro-lifers cry “get the best that you can get when you can get it,” and consistently support the “lesser of two evils.”

You can be a secular pro-lifer. You cannot be a secular abolitionist.

To be an abolitionist you must believe in a higher law. One does not need to believe in a higher law or deity to embrace an adverse opinion regarding abortion. But to argue that abortion is evil and ought to be abolished regardless of whether 99.99999% of the rest of the human population agrees with you requires the existence of a binding moral law which has its reference point outside of humanity.

Pro-lifers prefer common ground. Abolitionists prefer to proclaim the gospel.

A majority of pro-life leaders and organizations argue that one need not convince a person that God exists or that abortion is sin, in order to convert them to the pro-life position. While this may be true, abolitionists never choose to remove God or the gospel from the conversation. Abolitionists believe that abortion exists because men  deny that God does. The pro-life movement argues that we should talk less about sin and more about science. Less about salvation and more about “saving the babies.”

Central to the work abolition is the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Bringing abortion and its justifications into conflict with the Gospel is the primary mechanism of Abolition. Abolitionist understand our work as being part of the Great CommissionAbolitionists adopt these Five Tenets of Abolition and practice these  Two Modes of Abolitionism

THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT ARGUES THAT WE SHOULD FOCUS ON SAVING THE BABIES. THE ABOLITIONIST MOVEMENT ARGUES THAT WE SHOULD FOCUS ON CONVERTING THE CULTURE. ABOLITIONISTS BELIEVE THAT SAVING SOULS HOLDS THE KEY TO SAVING BABIES. ABOLITIONISTS BELIEVE THAT A CONVERT TO CHRIST IS A CONVERT TO THE CAUSE OF ABOLITION. 

And this is the problem that I have with Abort73.com. In their statement, they say that they want to clear misconceptions about being pro-life involving any "religious fanaticism."

I think the "...established to be a quiet prayerful witness..." from the HIF mission says it all. The AHA group was obviously not being "quiet." Good for them, and I pray that God will bless their efforts as well. 

The language used points directly to where HIF's interests lie. As quoted above, they say that "It is the hope and dream that The Holy Innocents’ Foundation will aid anyone who is in a crisis moment of a pregnancy, and assist them in any way to avoid the choice of abortion and to Choose Life." (emphasis added). That's the shibboleth of the proabortion movement--choice! HIF is actually 100% Pro-Choice; they just happen to favor the choice that doesn't kill babies (incidentally, this is also exactly what was wrong with the 100% Pro-Choice movie "Juno," that so many prolifers were enamored of; but I digress). So apparently "Pro-Life" and "Pro-Choice" are not opposites, nor are they mutually exclusive of each other; like HIF, and many "pro-life" organizations, you can be both at the same time. "Pro-life" is a product of the status quo, exists within the status quo, and is threatened by any change to the status quo. Abolitionism, on the other hand, exists to overthrow the status quo.

One of the problems you touch on was co-belligerence.  How can one think that they are on the same page when the pre-suppositions are different?  There is much more than mere "distinctions" that separate Protestants and Roman Catholics. 

I was part of a similar problem with a food pantry operating out of the church I was a part of.  We let them use the building and decided that we will have a book table that handed out Bibles, pray to start the busy day, and offer to pray with anyone who may desire.  The operator was furious, though they were Catholic, they "despised" the overt offering of the Gospel.  They are quite content to show their "love" by the very silence of St. Francis.  It is so sad that Paul's words do not resonate (Romans 10:14)

Frankly, I'm sick and tired of AHAs belligerent attitude toward Catholics and others who don't agree with their methods.  Their drop cards are nothing but littering with an allegedly holy purpose. And insisting on witnessing from the vantage point of someone else's property and crying fowl when they don't acquiesce? Bunk! Planned Parenthood property is given more respect than that!

Kamilla,
in all the videos from the Oklahoma City chapter I've seen, you can rest assured that there was no AHA litter strewn about the lawn. I saw faithful calls of repentance, offers of help, and obedience to the law.

I think the "problem" is that most everyone's too scared to say the wrong thing in the wrong way (or say anything "negative" at all); so nothing gets said...but AHA does...and clearly. Crystal clarity.

The main concern I have for it is that it doesn't appear to be under the authority of any church...though I imagine individual chapters could be...then again, I don't see many churches willing to sound such a clear message of opposition. I think abolition is the right message.

Craig,

The drop cards are a general practice of AHA. I didn't mean it to refer to this specific situation. 

Kamilla, I never thought I'd hold a likewise opinion with you, however in this case I absolutely agree. Well said.

Abolitionism has historically been wed to the doctrine of immediatism.

Abortion abolitionists consciously identify with the slavery abolitionists. But a hallmark of the slavery abolition movement was its willingness to compromise God's Word regarding slavery. And the way slavery was ended "now" (the cry of abolitionists then and now) was much worse than slavery itself, with all its evils: was it safer to be a black child in the womb in 1858 or today? (And I'm not defending slavery!)

As Doug Wilson puts it,

Christians must live or die by the Scriptures, as they stand. Compromise on what the Bible teaches about slavery is directly related to the current pressures to compromise on abortion and sodomy. Southern slavery was an example of the kind of sinful human situation that called for diligent obedience to St. Paul’s directives, on the part of both masters and slaves. Because this did not happen, and because of the way slavery ended, the federal government acquired the power to impose things on the states that it did not have before. Therefore, for all these reasons, radicalism is to be rejected by Christians. (From Black & Tan: Essays and Excursions on Slavery, Culture War, and Scripture in America)

A Christian slaveowner who was treating his slaves well could biblically be admitted to a church in the antebellum South--but the slavery abolitionists spoke as if this were not so. The abortion issue is different, because it's an evil in itself. So demonstrating that the slavery abolitionists were wrong does not prove that the abortion abolitionists are also wrong--but I have not seen any recognition by the "end abortion now" people (Abolish Human Abortion and American Right to Life for examples) that their forbears were wrong to such a critical degree. That makes it difficult to trust their logic that the same approach the slavery abolitionists used is right for ending abortion.

(And I could easily jump on a radical bandwagon, just ask my wife.)

Love,.

Hi Daniel,

I am an abolitionist and an immediatist and I do recognize much of what you say to be true. Not all abolitionists abandon scripture for their work. In fact, very few of them did. It is a myth that they were unitarian pagans. The vast majority were devout evangelical Christians. If you read their works they are infused with the Gospel and a love for the remnant of Christ. Though there were some who either did, or appeared to adopt heterdox theological positions, the historical record was long written by men of the south who ought to have been doing away with the peculiar institution themselves.

For here is the deal, the abolitionists of slavery opposed the slave "system" and highlighted its many abuses. They also highlighted the way that a slave owned by a good Christian master could be sold down the river, separated from his or her family, and fall into the abuses so prevalent in the south (see the premise of the Christian novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin", and the preacher Weld's "Slavery as it is"). The abolitionists argued that the people enslaved in America had been stolen from a foreign land (this was condemned in scripture, Exodus 21:6) and as such could not be considered travailing under biblical slavery. They also focused on the dehumanization of slavery and the degradation of image bearers running pretty darn rampant in America (see 3/5ths of a person, chattel slavery, auction blocks, human branding, etc). The abolitionists spoke of the image of God and the Incarnation of Jesus Christ (this was their symbol "Am I not A Man and A Brother!").

Garrison said that if the Bible supported Southern Slavery he would burn it like he burned the constitution. He never burned it, because he disagreed with good men like Doug Wilson in his own day and evil men who used the thinking of men like Doug Wilson to justify their ownership of people as property.

As for us today, we do live and die by the scriptures and there is absolutely nothing in the word of God that says man can shed the "innocent" blood of another human being who bears God's image from the moment they are conceived (think deeply about the Incarnation).

It does not matter whether the abolitionists of slavery were perfect or not. For I know that we abolitionists today are not perfect (though we are being sanctified by Him who is perfect). And I know that our cause is just, biblical, righteous, and empowered by the Spirit of God. Our name is the same as theirs and we hold many of the same principles (the answer to known sin is immediate repentance, never do evil that good may come, do not go with the multitude to do evil, etc). We also hold this in common with those abolitionists who set themselves against the peculiar institution. We are carrying out our work for the love of our neighbors and the glory of God. 

Abide in Christ,

Russell
Founder of A//A
Please peruse our website to read further: abolishhumanabortion.com

Garrison said that if the Bible supported Southern Slavery he would burn it like he burned the constitution.

This is not how a Christian speaks.

Brother, my doubts are stronger than ever.

Love,

Just to be clear, I'm saying Garrison did not speak how a Christian speaks when he spoke that way.

This is not how a Christian speaks.

Brother, my doubts are stronger than ever.

Indeed. That is not how a Christian speaks. Since T. Russell Hunter has posted a few comments, it might be helpful for me to say that the original post was not an endorsement of AHA. 

I only meant to highlight a particular group of men (who are also part of AHA) and how pro-life Roman Catholics opposed their faithfulness.

Woah Woah Woah.

I was explaining why it was that Garrison said that he would NOT burn the Bible. He truly believed that it did not support the system of slavery that he was seeking to abolish. Garrison said many great things, and many incendiary things which he should not have said. But as I pointed out, he was not perfect.

As Harriet Beecher Stowe said, Garrison was a SHEEP in wolves clothing.

But yeah, he said incendiary things (both for good and ill) and the people who opposed him wanted to stone him for the same reason that they wanted to kill the Christ he followed. 

Let me reiterate this point. Garrison did NOT burn the Bible and his quote about that was meant to underscore his belief that the Bible was on the side of Abolition. Indeed, he based his entire appeal against slavery upon its revelations about God, the nature of men, sin, and salvation. He defined abolition as "refusing to go with the multitude to do evil" (from Exodus 23:2). And identified the impulse to abolish evils and repent of national sins with the prophet Isaiah's words in Isaiah 1:16-17.

His writing is full of things like, "Every man is equivalent to every other man. Destroy the equivalent, and what is left? "So God created man in his own image--male and female created he them." This is a death-blow to all claims of superiority, to all charges of inferiority, to all usurpation, to all oppressive dominion." (No Compromise with Slavery).

But I notice that you have seized on one line in my reply and made it the whole. And upon this, you are now more concerned about the abolitionists of abortion than you were before.

And yet this after I requested that you peruse the AHA website and judge us for what we say (and disavowed a full assent of everything any abolitionist has ever said). 

Apparently, your displeasure with this line or action from a historical figure is enough to draw others away from an honest assessment of the tenets, principles, and application of present day evangelical abolitionism. And they too would like to make their non-endorsement of AHA clear.

Well, I am perplexed and saddened by responses such as these. Would that people would look at our works and our fruits and assess the things we actually say and do. I still would request that such an easy thing be done.

Though, if you are looking for some way to keep things the way they are and to NOT become an Abolitionist... yes. Just connect us to some genetic or historical fallacy and move on.

For I am afraid that I will be unable to apologize and defend everything that every abolitionist has said or done in history (or today). And if that is all it takes for you to justify your fears and denunciations, well, I cannot help you and I am saddened for the loss of a brother in this fight.

There is the prolife movement and the churches who support them and they will much appreciate your help in opposing immediatism and those rehabilitating (and straightening out) abolitionism. You can send them your checks, buy their books, and vote for their politicians and incremental legislative schemes. They will practice true religion on your behalf though you ought to know that they will employ secular principles and carnal means.

As the original post points out, there is a bit of a difference between pro lifers and abolitionists. It is the same difference that existed between colonizationists and abolitionists in the 19th century except for the regulators, incrementalists, and compensationists are now beholden to Rome.

I am sorry that I must admit that I too write with a bit of a sharp edge. And I apologize for any unnecessary offense. But I am a reader of this blog and appreciate its tone and content.

Hear his voice and do as he says. It makes no difference whether you are willing to hear mine or not.

Abide in Him,

Russell

Russell,
what was troubling about that line from Garrison, which you chose to quote, is what it underscored: a commitment to a movement primarily, and scripture secondarily.

I see fruit from the work of Rhology and others from the OKC chapter. The other things I see at your site are conflicting. I would never tell you to stop because I think you do much more good than "harm". I actually agree with your arguments and completely agree that we, Evangelicals, need to be assertive about opposing ALL forms of abortion. I am NOT "pro-life" and do not describe myself as such. I'm antiabortion, and I think using the term abolitionist is helpful.

What I see at AHA's site is an all or nothing embrace of a stylized approach.  The young woman heading up the Columbus, Oh chapter, for instance, spends Sunday mornings protesting outside of her old church. It strikes me as being a "retributive" form of activism against that church for wronging her. You have supported her for this. It is indicative of a philosophy before all else.

I encourage you to do a search of this blog on abortion. You might find the views here to be further to the right than your own since contraception is a big piece of the problem. Evangelicals celebrate every form of contraception, and it underscores our very wrong approach to sex and why we hate fruitfulness...which is why we swallow a pill to prevent conception and why we swallow a pill to end pregnancy.

Hi Craig,

First off. I actually fully agree with you on the Birth control issue. IVF is also a major issue. Our churches are handicapped by their complicity with this culture of death's view of the sex, fertility, and, family planning. It is hard to fight abortion when you are eating fruit off the same vine. It is hard to practice true religion when you are creating orphans and freezing them to death in a culture full of orphans.

But on to the other things which we may disagree on... but I actually doubt that we do (if we actually understood each other fully).

Yes. AHA is in the process of developing a Church Repent Project and there have been various abolitionists along the way who have jumped the gun or at minimum created a bit of a PR headache by just taking a sign to a church and standing outside of it. 

Todd Bullis and Sarah Cleveland are two such abolitionists and they have actually put their "church exhortation" activism on hold while we have been praying and working out exactly what must be done in this area.

But for the record, Sarah does not spend all her sunday mornings holding signs outside of her former church, and she never did this as an act of retribution. You can read Rhology's account of Sarah's "protest" of Rich Nathan's visible church here: http://blog.abolishhumanabortion.com/2013/05/sarah-cleveland-and-vineyar...

AHA does not want to protest Prolife Churches, but we do want to plead with them to do more. I am not sure of everything that every abolitionist has done anywhere out there in the world so I cannot vouch or support anyone doing anything while they wear an AHA symbol or hold an AHA sign. I do know that my desire to go to a church and ask them to do the works they were called to do and be the helpmeet bride of Christ as he destroys the works of the devil is not motivated out of retributive justice, anger, or anything other than a desire to see the Body of Christ rise up and abolish human abortion.

Its not just fancy AHA rhetoric. We truly believe that the Lord will place abortion and its advocates and powers under His feat and that he will use his people in this work. Right now the visible churches in this country are largely at peace with child sacrifice and as you point out, dancing with the devilish logic that justifies it in the first place.

Now... as for Prochoice "Churches" they are another thing. I do believe that they ought to be picketed, protested, lambasted, and whatever other peaceable thing that can be done to expose their unfruitful approval of this work of darkness. The culture should know the difference between a prolife and a prochoice church. Like in the antebellum period, there are actually a vast number of churches and many major denominations who support a woman's right to choose.

I know, I know, these are liberal anti-bible churches and they are doctrinally nothing like the churches who supported a biblical form of slavery and said that that was what was taking place in the south.

I am just pointing out yet another interesting parallel. Future secular historians will write textbooks claiming that Christendom was split over the abortion issue and they will argue that the leaders of the abolitionist campaign against abortion were really not Christian because they picketed prochoice churches and made men like Daniel Meyer concerned.

Of course, we do desire for pro life churches to become abolitionist churches and see this issue as a gospel issue and one of destroying the works of the devil and keeping the commandments to love our neighbors and glorify God as we carryout out the great commission.

One last thing, I am wondering what you mean by our "all or nothing embrace of a stylized approach" and to know what on the abolishhumanabortion.com website "conflicts" with the fruit, or approach of the Abolitionist Society in Oklahoma. For I am the principle writer of the AHA website and have been the director of the Abolitionist Society of Oklahoma for the past three years. I'm not picking a fight on this. I really am just wondering were the contradiction is.

For instance, Rhology and I are of the same mind and judgement and his blog posts as well as my article pages and presentations usually cross each other's desk before we put them up. 

Anyways, I understand we are hard to take sometimes. We do seek to de-settle the world. We think its upside down and reserve the right (the calling) to turn it right side up.

Grace and Peace,

Russell
A//A

PS: Just for a historical note. This is what Garrison had to say to people who claimed he didn't believe the Bible:

"My religious views are of the most elevated, the most spiritual character; that I esteem the holy scriptures above all other books in the universe, and always appeal to “the law and the testimony ” to prove all my peculiar doctrines; ...that I believe in an indwelling Christ, and in his righteousness alone; that I glory in nothing here below, save in Christ and him crucified; that I believe all the works of the devil are to be destroyed, and our Lord is to reign from sea to sea, even to the ends of the earth; and that I profess to have passed from death unto life, and know by happy experience that there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit." 

-William Lloyd Garrison, 
Recorded in "William Lloyd Garrison, 1805-1879: The Story of His Life Told by His Children" Houghton (1889) p. 4

Dear Russell,

I am not making out that you think the abolitionists were perfect. And for my part I am not claiming that the slavery abolitionists were demons, either. But before the civil war the federal government could not have imposed the wicked Roe v. Wade decision on the states; afterwards it could (and did). Do you disagree that this is the case?  But the slavery abolitionists were arguing for just such a radical break. Garrison burned the U.S. constitution. Are you going to claim that this was not an incitement to men of that day to break their vows to uphold the constitution, and that that treachery was not a poison that continues to this day in U.S. Supreme Court decisions that make a mockery of the men's vows to uphold the constitution?

Men do not have to be perfect to be good examples for us to follow. But I want to see some recognition from abortion abolitionists, especially ones like you who are self-consciously following in the footsteps of the slavery abolitionists, of the evil that came through the way slavery was ended. Will you argue that evil did not come? Surely not. Will you argue that it had nothing to do with the way slavery was ended? Or that it had nothing to do with what the abolitionists were agitating for? Bring your argument so we can weigh it.

You accuse me of "looking for some way to keep things the way they are" so that I don't have to become an abolitionist. Brother, as I understand my heart you are wrong. Please don't assume that because you haven't convinced me I am looking for ways to be comfortable instead of faithful.
I am testing your views to see if they hold up to Scripture. The outcome of this could influence the work of a church or a family of churches. Please stay and answer.

In trying to evaluate AHA's (also American Right to Life's) claims, sometimes it helps to look at specific situations to try to get an idea of the big picture. My thoughts on AHA regarding the recent incident between AHA and HIF are as follows: If HIF asked the AHA men to get off its property and the AHA men refused, the AHA men were acting lawlessly (breaking the Eighth Commandment) and that it was not wrong for HIF to call the police on them. The AHA men should have complied with HIF's request; and if they believe the immediacy of abortion abolition trumps fellow believers' property rights, they are in danger of creating an as-yet-unknown horror due to the ensuing abolishment of property rights that would be every bit as horrible as the civil war consolidating the federal power to enable Roe v. Wade has been. I can't imagine what that would even be; but I believe it is an evil--an evil that the abortion abolitionists are currently willing to feed--some of them, anyway.

Am I in error about the particular sin I am trying to confront you with? It could be, perhaps you'll argue that. But please don't run away. Seeing how it is that you're in submission to God and those he has placed in authority over you is crucial in my knowing whether you're a trustworthy leader.

Love,Daniel

p.s. - I am not defending HIF's unwillingness to have AHA on its property; I am opposing AHA men's (apparent) unwillingness to respect HIF's property, to see this lack of respect as a sin, or to repent of it.

I think something needs to be clarified since I've received comments/questions about this in prior weeks. The OKC AHA chapter was not violating private property rights. Let me also encourage readers to look at HIF's statement again. It was calculated. There's thoughtful, and then there's calculation. Calculation is what you use when you try to hide the truth in a way that plausible deniability of falsehood is still an available option.

Here's what Rhology told me regarding the circumstances surrounding their presence on HIF's property, and he gave me permission to share.:

Hello Craig,

We had always been under the impression that HIF was at least indifferent to our presence on their property. Individually speaking, we had never had a problem with any of them. Roman Catholic sidewalk counselors who are loosely affiliated with HIF are allowed to stand on HIF's property and engage people entering the child sacrifice center, and we have always had good relations with them. We shared the Gospel with them and challenged their theology a few times as we had opportunities, but it was always cordial and friendly. I have video evidence of that.

Also, Toby and I have had friendly conversations with people who work at HIF numerous times. Always with a smile, always friendly. They've told us face to face that it's totally fine that we be out there. I have video evidence of that as well.

Then the one day when I was out there, the police showed up and told me, to my honest surprise, of the existence of the mentioned police report which HIF signed, and told me I had to leave. That was the first I'd heard of HIF's overt hostility toward abolition, though in the past I do recall arriving police officers had gone into HIF once or twice as part of their arrival routine.

So you are correct - they never asked us to leave. Never talked to us about it. They entered into an agreement with the devil to push abolitionists away, behind our backs.

Let me know if I can clarify anything else.

Just to toss this in here, you can hear my surprise when the police officer informs me I can't be there anymore (9m35s mark).

Thanks Craig. My situation is a hypothetical situation then. Good. Part of weighing the arguments AHA makes is finding out about the character of the men who make them--are these men that deserve to be listened to?

Mr. Hunter does not know it, but I spent some considerable energy making the case that supporting laws that explicitly protect (only) some class of unborn babies is wrong to some men at my church--as American Right to Life argues for example,

Any abortion regulation is immoral if it creates a protected "class" of children that makes it obvious that there is also an unprotected "class", as here, the youngest kids and children with quiet heartbeats.

As Russell has already said on the first comment of this thread, AHA echoes this:

Abolitionists reject the idea that you can effectively fight evil by allowing it in some cases or doing away with it by planned incremental steps. Abolitionists reject the notion that you can ever commit a little evil in order that good may come.

The point that must be proven is that the incremental approach involves committing evil. We're working to extend protection to children that would have been killed; and this is immoral? I was unable to prove my point.

Part of weighing the arguments AHA makes is finding out about the character of the men who make them--are these men that deserve to be listened to?

May I inquire as to whether you think that a negative answer would invoke the genetic fallacy?

Not that I think one who examines the people involved will plausibly reach a negative answer. I wouldn't be involved in AHA if the abolitionists I know were degenerates and/or non-committal Christians with a faith that is only alleged but not actual.

Russell:
The "stylized" approach I mentioned refers to the branding and attempts to re-image the abolition of abortion after the 19th century abolitionist movement. There are obvious connections, don't get me wrong.

One of the main problems, to my mind, is that AHA is a non-church movement. I think this is part of what Daniel is getting at. This is not a small criticism because the group was established to fulfill churchly calls, but isn't a church.

I'm not sure blog comments are a great venue for discussing these points. Feel free to email me if you like (Rhology has my address).

Sincerely,

Craig

Craig,

We're going to address that issue at length in two weeks at our conference, which of course will be recorded and made available to all for free.

Could we ask you to consume some of that material once it is presented before coming to a settled conclusion on the question? It would be much appreciated!

Grace and peace,
Rhology

I would be more than happy to watch that material.

Thanks,

Craig

Daniel Meyer,

Thank you for your kind request to stick around and make the case that we need to make. I apologize for the brashness of my tone or somewhat dismissive treatment of any legitimate concern or questions that you had.

I pray the Lord continues to teach me how to go in and out of proper modes of engagement and interaction online. I responded to your comment to quickly. Please forgive me.

I would definitely like to make any case that you require or answer any questions that you have, but I will say that we are not following Garrison or Wilberforce per say even though I consider our work to be following in their footsteps. I believe that they were following the spirit of God and in their own ways made good and bad decisions, and carried out their work before God as faithful servants running a race set before them.

I am putting together a little talk on the American Abolitionists for our upcoming AHA conference in June (the 28th-30th). I will send you the slides and video. 

Regarding the whole constitution burning thing. I will say that there are bookshelves written on this type of activity and why people have done such things (right or wrong). 

But to be certain, Garrison wasn't burning the constitution because of any of the things you connect to such activity and the breakdown of law in this country today. 

He burned it because he thought it was inconsistent with the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence, Decalogue of Moses, and teachings of the Liberator (as he called Jesus). Garrison and the Garrisonians pointed out the contradiction in the founders complaints against King George while holding slaves (men who were likewise being robbed of their own liberty as men made in the image of God). Abolitionists were split on whether or not the Constitution protected or preserved slavery, or chattle slavery, or the peculiar institution, and as you know, there was quite a bit of debate about this as the constitution was being drafted.

As for Garrison's burning of the constitution, I cannot say that I fully approve of the action though I understand what he was doing and why. He would not have approved of the type of constitution trampling going on today. He was actually far far more conservative than even the conservative defenders of the constitution today.

Were he alive today, I image he would be burning something like the Patriot Act or something like that. 

History is a tricky thing to begin with and once you take context and historiography, and revisionism, and revision of the revisionist into account, it is quite difficult to just say what a person did back then was perfectly good or bad unless that thing is prohibited in scripture or contrary to the revealed will and attributes of God. I am a proponent of a pretty scandalous historiographical school known as providential history or providentialist historiography. This is history taking into account the action and agency of the living God. 

It is a big no no in modern academia to suggest that God plays a role in anything. 

To cut to the quick, It is not so much that I am following Garrison or Lovejoy or any of the other abolitionists as much as I am seeing in their work and their letters and plight a similar situation and heart that would only be identified by someone who is called to engage in a similar line of work or spiritual calling.

Again, this is not allowed in modern historiography, but when people say the Abolitionists of Slavery were against the church and cite some southern anti-abolitionist to prove the point, I take their comment with a spoon full of salt because I know that I love the true Church, am a part of the Body of Christ myself, and yet because I am critical of the state of Modern American Churchianity, present day anti-abolitionists who count themselves Christians (and most likely are christians) write blogs and make facebook posts about how I am anti-church. Or argue that AHA is anti-church.

Note: Some people object to my phrase Modern American Churchianity. By this I do not mean to refer to the Bride of Christ now active in the US. I am referring to the hundreds of thousands of visible "churches" in America that surround our child-sacrifice centers and water down the scriptures, remove the bad news from the good news, and preach a Gospel of personal peace and affluence while the world goes to Hell all around them.

AHA is not anti-Church in the sense that any honest biblical detractor means. The fourth tenet of Abolitionism stated clearly on our very own website reads:

"4. BODY DRIVEN

We believe that Abolition is an Obligation of the Church. We seek to awaken the Church to fulfill her ordained purpose to be salt and light in this sin spoiled and darkened world. The primary means God has ordained to display his manifold wisdom to the world is through his people, his body and bride. The church must take the gospel to the ends of the earth and bring it into conflict with every dark deed of man.

The body and bride of Christ, the church, is called to be salt and light in this depraved world. Christians are to “abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good” (Rom. 12:9), to expose evil (Eph. 5:11), and to destroy the ungodly thinking that defends evil (2 Cor. 10:5). We are exhorted to rescue the weak from death, snatch the falling from flames, and hold back the stumbling from the slaughter. Abolitionists are driven by a desire to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God (Mic. 6:8). Our earnest desire is to consistently practice what God’s Word calls pure and undefiled religion: to look after the orphaned and widows in their affliction and to keep ourselves unstained by the world (Jam. 1:27)." http://abolishhumanabortion.com/the-five-tenets-of-abolitionism/

To return to the point. I do acknowledge and believe that the way slavery was ended in America (by Civil War) was the wrong way and that the Civil War was the judgment of God on a nation and a people who neither honored Him, submitted to his will, or listened to the voices of his people as they were crying out in the wilderness of the antebellum north. I affirm the Abolitionists call and cry upon the people of God and the Churches in America during the 1830s and 40s. They said that Slavery ought to abolished by moral suasion and that the key to this lied in the pulpit and local church body. The abolitionists did not want a war and they railed against it. They wanted a Church that rose and put the works of the devil under the feet of Christ.

When the church did not rise, but instead split, and even defended the worse parts of the peculiar institution by pointing to the best instances of Christian slave owning,  I would say that GOD (here goes the providential history bit) judged America and that was the cause of the Civil War. 

Of course there is a lot more to the story, but I would affirm that the abolitionists and their agitation did not cause the civil war; that the war was not solely fought over slavery; and that had the nation "repented" of their trade and ownership of stolen men (auction blocks, branded human beings, denials of the bible, rupturing of families, sexual bondage, and plantation abortion coverups, etc etc etc), and done pretty much exactly what the abolitionists were calling for ("national repentance of the Sin of slavery", "total and immediate emancipation without colonization or compensation,") the Civil War would not have occurred. It would have been like Nineveh, and I do not believe that men like Garrison would have regretted the outcome of our nations immediate repentance in the way that Jonah. But who knows.

Daniel, I have to run for a while and would like to continue this conversation further. Please forgive the sloppiness of my prose and failure to correct my typos. I do appreciate the desire to hear us out which you have expressed and the willingness to carry out this discussion here on the BaylyBlog.

But I have to remove my fingers from these keys for a while and put my hands to a different plow.

Abide always and pray continually,

Russell

I do acknowledge and believe that the way slavery was ended in America (by Civil War) was the wrong way and that the Civil War was the judgment of God on a nation and a people who neither honored Him, submitted to his will, or listened to the voices of his people as they were crying out in the wilderness of the antebellum north. I affirm the Abolitionists call and cry upon the people of God and the Churches in America during the 1830s and 40s. They said that Slavery ought to abolished by moral suasion and that the key to this lied in the pulpit and local church body. The abolitionists did not want a war and they railed against it. They wanted a Church that rose and put the works of the devil under the feet of Christ.

Thank you. This is very helpful.

I'm not with you on the biblical necessity of "total and immediate emancipation without colonization or compensation". You don't see that immediacy in the Holy Spirit's teaching regarding either Hebrew or Roman slavery; I think the abolitionists erred in this, going beyond Scripture. You may be right in the abortion case that immediacy is necessary, but you weaken your case by tying immediacy to the (erring) example of the slavery abolitionists.

We're closer together than I thought, though. Thank you.

I wouldn't be involved in AHA if the abolitionists I know were degenerates and/or non-committal Christians with a faith that is only alleged but not actual.

Dear "Rhology",

The video and explanation you've offered is helpful. I don't think you're a lawless man (it matters). The video was a good example to me of both courage and meekness for when I'm at the abortuary. Thank you.

May I inquire as to whether you think that a negative answer would invoke the genetic fallacy?

Not everything called fallacy these days is fallacy. I look at what the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to do and say against the super-apostles that were drawing away the churches from the truth, and much of it would be considered invalid or Paul invoking fallacies--but St. Paul is a shining example to us of the wisdom of God and of the love of God and neighbor in action, and we should learn from him.

Love,Daniel

Not everything called fallacy these days is fallacy.

That's for sure! :-)

I don't think you're a lawless man (it matters). The video was a good example to me of both courage and meekness for when I'm at the abortuary.

Luke 17:10b - We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.

May the Lord bless you.

Grace and peace,
Rhology

To all,

Because I have really started to enjoy this conversation here, I have a question that I would love to get some feedback on pertaining to abortion and immediatism in a local church context.

Do you think that a local body should practice church discipline on a Planned Parenthood Director who is a regular attendee and offering giver or do you believe that this PP director ought to be freely accepted into the church body and preached to as this would be a good opportunity to reach them with the Gospel and encourage their repentance and better running of their Women's Health Center? 

PP likes to point to all their non-life ending services as examples that they are not all bad. The famous 3% of their services are abortion line.

I think it was more than 3%, but the abolitionists of slavery might have still demanded an immediate end to AFRICAN slavery in AMERICA on scriptural grounds regarding the capital crime of man-stealing (Exodus 21:16) in the case that only 3% of all slave holders were unchristian in how they dealt with their chattle. I know for a fact that the abolitionists of slavery did want churches to practice discipline on slave holders in order to purify the bride (because they were convinced that southern slavery was sinful) and to help these slave holders come to repentance.

Now I know that we disagree on this point about slavery...  But it seems like we would agree about the total and immediate end of abortion. I am wondering about whether we would agree with some of the abolitionists tactics (encouraging Church Discipline being a primary one) in regard to an evil today which is clear cut and nowhere justified in scripture.

Cause I am truly open to constructive critiques of the abolitionists of slavery and their methods and learning from their mistakes as well as their successes.

Keep abiding, 

Russ 

Russell,
All preaching (if it is based on God's Word) is discipline, both positive and negative. All those sitting under the preaching of the Word are under discipline because they're being exhorted, convicted, called on, instructed, etc. If this is going on faithfully a Planned Parenthood director will either reject that discipline and go somewhere else, or repent and quit working for Molech.

If a church is not faithfully exercising discipline through the Word preached, they will not perform other forms of discipline. Which is probably why George Tiller was a member of a God-hating, baby-hating, sodomite-affirming ELCA church.

Craig,

I don't really understand what you're saying here.

All those sitting under the preaching of the Word are under discipline because they're being exhorted, convicted, called on, instructed, etc.

Could that ^^ not be said of any sin, such as fornicator, sower of division, sodomite, etc? Maybe I'm not following the distinction it sounds like you're drawing between Bible preaching and formal church discipline.

Could one of our dear pastors speak a word to Russell and Rhology's questions?

I'm not a pastor...but here's my response to Rhology since he asked and it warrants clarification:

Could that ^^ not be said of any sin, such as fornicator, sower of division, sodomite, etc? Maybe I'm not following the distinction it sounds like you're drawing between Bible preaching and formal church discipline.

The primary form of church discipline is the Word preached. It is part of the great commission, disciplining disciples to obey everything Christ taught. This is the lifeblood of the church. There's no doubt faithful preaching like this causes many to abandon a church, which includes practitioners of infanticide, drunkards, sodomites, and gossips.

I'm simply pointing out a basic fact: if the preaching of the Word is not treated as a form of discipline in the function of a church, that church will not use escalated forms of discipline.

So should a Planned Parenthood director be disciplined? Through what means? Preaching? Of course? Denied a seat at the Lord's Table? Of course. Excommunicated? Is she even a member? If she were, that raises so many other questions...discipline includes informal means within the body, like Titus 2 women. Do you see where I'm going? The life of the church is discipline, including formal discipline from the pastors and elders. I question the life of a church if a director of Planned Parenthood could take membership vows. But let's say it's theoretically possible for a Bible-believing, Evangelical church that is dedicated to a life of Christian discipline to have an unrepentant member working for Molech...should they exercise formal discipline? Of course.

Some may wonder, am I implying that a faithful church will not have adulterers, drunkards, Molech worshipers, gossipers, and children who disobey parents in her midst? No, of course not. Sin is always present, and some sins can be "hidden" for a time. Employment in an industry of wickedness is difficult to hide. That's just a fact.

I hope such a woman would come under the discipline of the Word preached and evangelistic calls to repentance. She's welcome to receive such discipline.

No, such a woman should not be "accepted" and "affirmed". Such a woman should be welcomed to sit under the discipline of the Word preached and called on to repent with additional words of exhortation and the presence of godly Christians, especially Titus 2 women. They will either repent or run screaming because discipline is the entry way and not just the exit.

A fine clarification. Thank you.

If I'm reading Russell correctly, he was asking sort of along the lines of "If a PP director is a member at the church and then the pastor comes to his senses and realises 'Wait a second, I'm doing it wrong!' would it be a good thing to exercise church discipline against that unrepentant PP director (of course, going to them one-on-one first, then two or three, then the whole church)?"

ISTM we all agree.

In Matthew 18 our Lord gives us instructions for keeping a matter as private as possible. If a situation had already risen to the level of a public scandal, a church might have to leave earlier steps behind in addressing it, like the Apostle Paul had to in 1 Corinthians 5.

Love,

Yes. I was referring to formal church discipline, or denial of the table, or excommunication, etc. And assuming that it was a known fact that the person in question was an abortion worker and proponent.

For instance, if she were a member of a church and a regular contributor to the churches funds, would it be right or wrong to continue taking her tithe?

The other part of this (NOT HYPOTHETICAL) situation is that the pastor at this church has been approached by another member who has pointed out the problem, the woman has been talked to by that member, but the pastor defends her active church attendance because he would rather her attend his church and hear his preaching than be turned out and over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh? 

Russ

Russell,
I could say all kinds of things, but I'm not privy to who any of the individuals are. If discipline is the lifeblood of that church, there are still ways of dealing with this. Somehow you have knowledge of this situation; wouldn't members of the church be at least as entitled to knowledge of this wickedness?

Pastors aren't exempt from the informal discipline of shame that results from the flock begging for the love of Christ's rod. I would encourage you, if you know that member, to advise him to seek two other godly male members to confirm the facts (easy to do) and approach the pastor - all three of them. If discipline does not result; I would take my family out of that church and flee to the safety of another church that exercises the love of the rod.

Men,

Opposite the abortion abolitionists' approach, I've wanted to get on board and support legislation that saves some even if it leaves out others for now (such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act currently in debate in Congress, which currently leaves out protection for children conceived in rape and incest)---but arguments like the below from the "personhood" people leave me considerably less excited about the incremental, exceptions-based approach:

In Footnote 54 of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Roe v Wade, as part of the personhood discussion, the Court pointed out the fact that Texas had exceptions, and that this undermined the State's whole argument for personhood.  The Court recognized that when you make exceptions, you demonstrate that you don't really believe that's a person -- that ANY are persons, and when ALL aren't protected, NONE are protected.  If we are ever going to see Roe v Wade overturned, we need to stop compromising.  The Hyde Amendment has had a chilling effect on states that want to pass Personhood statutes or abortion bans, because their budget office gets the bills killed on the floor because under Hyde, they MUST fund abortions in cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother.

And

Right to Life of Michigan has actually fought for children conceived in rape -- consistently.  Because of their uncompromising principles, there has never been a rape exception in the history of Michigan law.  When they didn't have the votes to pass the state version of the Hyde Amendment without a rape exception, they worked on the legislators to get them to change.  And when they still didn't have the votes, they targeted them in the primaries, got several voted out, and the very next legislative session, they got it passed with no exceptions -- that's how you get it done!  Sadly, for many years, RLM was the only affiliate of NRLC who had this no compromise policy.  But they've now mentored many others like Georgia RTL, Tennessee RTL, South Dakota RTL and Alaska RTL who've now gone to the no exceptions/no compromise model.  American Life League has this same policy, as well as Personhood USA.  Does the pro-life organization you support have this policy?  Ask them!  Challenge them.

http://www.lifesitenews.com/blog/the-pain-incapable-children/

Love,

Hi Daniel,

Here is a collection of three comments which we made regarding the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" yesterday from our FB page. If you are not familiar with our FB page, I'll just warn you that we try to take a "tell it like it is" approach and translate our arguments and ideas into pithy memes and graphics as which take our ideas further than the respectable blog post or well reasoned article might.

#1
"Politicians and ProLife lobbyists use things like pain capability protection acts to look "ProLife" before their constituents and get votes and donations. 

But please understand that these bills do nothing to abolish abortion and they actually educate the culture to believe that it is okay to kill a baby so long as you do it quickly and before they feel pain. These bills actually sanction child sacrifice and protect the murder of our neighbors and fellow image bearers. 

Do not be fooled by the same old nonsense incremental legislation that the ProLife INDUSTRY has been requesting your donations to fund for the past 40 years and 55 million murders."

#2
"Abortion is kept legal by Pro-Lifers who constantly compromise with lesser evils and pragmatically sanction earlier instances of child sacrifice as "better than nothing." 

40 years of this "ends justifying the means" nonsense is enough. We will only abolish abortion when we cease to do evil so that good may come (Exodus 23:2; Isaiah 5:20; Romans 12:21; 2 Timothy 3).

Come out of the PLM and stop being duped by their diabolical thinking."

#3

This image:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=523532121046140&set=a.1520890848...
Accompanied by this blog post by Abolitionist Clayton Strang: http://www.redstate.com/rcstrang/2013/06/18/21-weeks-6-days-and-still-not-a-human/

#4
"It is not okay to scrape an unborn human being into pieces after you give them strong pain killers."

#5
"Pro-choicers should just pass the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" and then turn around and pass an "Abortion-is-okay-so-long-as-you-give-the-baby-pain-killers Act" just to show the world how weak and worthless the ProLife political position has become."

#6

"When people talk of the passage of this dinky "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" being a step in the right direction, please remind them that bills like this have been passed and repealed and passed and repealed over and over again all over the country. These things raise money for prolife groups and get politicians future political points but they do not even take the slightest step in the direction of Abolition. 

At best this is just another step in the circle that ProLifers and ProChoicers have been dancing for the past 40 years. But I am afraid that it is worse than that. This bill is more likely a step in the wrong direction. A step in the direction of keeping abortion "Safe, legal, and rare." 

All the ProLifeMovement does anymore is inform the world when it is okay to kill a baby, and what procedures can and cannot be used to murder image bearers of the Living God."

#7

"Working to make it more "safe" 

Passing laws that make it more "rare" 

...is supposed to be the pro-choice mantra. 

But there are tons of ProLifers telling us not to speak out against the "IT'S-OKAY-TO-KILL-A-BABY-SO-LONG-AS-IT'S-NOT-PAINFUL Act" because they they think it is a step in the right direction.

Please hear us on out this. This bill only works towards keeping abortion "safe, legal, and rare" just as the pro-choicers have always said. 

Also... before you get mad at us and send some money to the ProLife group who emails you in the morning, it is not going to pass. 

We don't say this because we are pessimists, we just say this because we've studied the game and the way they have been playing it for the past 40 years. People have literally been saying, "But at least it is a step in the right direction," as they have been walking in circles for the past 40 years.

Tell you what, we'll forecast the future for ya. This bill will be vetoed by the senate if it somehow reaches the White House. But emails will go out tomorrow from the ProLife Industry and lots of people will send in some money to put pressure on Harry Reid to bring this bill to a vote. He won't. But the people who wrote the bill and promoted it will tell their constituents that they did all they could to save the babies and they will shore up their future support and gain ProLife warrior points. No babies will be saved. 

But anti-abolition pro-incrementalist pro-lifers will still tell us that it would have been better than nothing and we will still try are best to explain that the reason they never even take steps in the right direction has to do with the fact that they are calling for abortion to remain legal in the case that it becomes more safe and rare.

Call for the total and immediate abolition of human abortion and you watch. We will actually take some of the steps that ProLifers have been talking about every year for the past 40 years."

I hope reading these gives you some idea about where we are coming from in regard to immediatism and the deleterious nature of bills such as the PCUPCA. 

BTW, While we are in agreement with the Personhood people about this issue, there are considerable difference between us and them. The H between the two As in the abolitionist symbol is actually a purposeful break from the underlying philosophical Personhood argument. We are full blown, "Image of God" "Incarnation of Christ" people who do not try to meet the world's criteria for what makes a person valuable (Personhood in the Roe case) but stand on the revelation of God. We are knit together in the womb and bear His image from conception. A human embryo doesn't have to be a person or be unique or have fingerprints or anything like that. To kill a human embryo a nanosecond after they exist is to murder an image bearer in the place of the incarnation (where the creator of the cosmos took on the form of a human embryo himself).

Thank you for reading all this. Abide in Him,

Russ

We are full blown, "Image of God" "Incarnation of Christ" people who do not try to meet the world's criteria for what makes a person valuable (Personhood in the Roe case) but stand on the revelation of God.

Ok, doing a little digging I see your point---PersonhoodUSA does not appear to speak of the Word of God at all---but look at what American Right to Life says:

Abortion is evil and undermines the value of human life in many areas, but our goal is not to chip away at each of these in order to eventually end abortion. Our goal is to end abortion now and terminate the myth that a fetus is not really a baby.

http://americanrtl.org/campaign-guidelines

And again,

Why is Abortion Wrong? Abortion is wrong because it's a baby, and it's always wrong to intentionally kill a baby, and that's because children are made in God's image and God said, "Do not kill the innocent."

http://americanrtl.org/Talking-Points

(emphases mine.) Doesn't that sound like you?

...these bills do nothing to abolish abortion and they actually educate the culture to believe that it is okay to kill a baby so long as you do it quickly and before they feel pain. These bills actually sanction child sacrifice and protect the murder of our neighbors and fellow image bearers.

Dear Russell,

You have not proven that these bills "educate the culture to believe that it is okay to kill a baby so long as you do it quickly and before they feel pain."

National Right to Life puts the opposing argument this way:

Every baby deserves our protection. As we work for the day that the Supreme Court will let us protect the life of every unborn baby, let us now pass every protection the Supreme Court will allow, and that starts with ending the barbarity of killing unborn babies when they can experience such excruciating pain.

You argue for immediatism, not based on the Bible but based on the logic of slavery abolitionists who did not love the Bible. Yes, we know from Scripture that kidnapping (man-stealing) is worthy of capital punishment. But nowhere in Scripture are there instructions for immediate abolition of having slaves: on the contrary there are many commands as to how Christian masters and slaves must behave toward each other. The kidnapping should have been stopped; but Virginia outlawed the kidnapping before the war and it's my understanding that they couldn't enforce their law because of slave-trading Maryland. There were other sins in slaveholding states, and in many cases the churches failed to discipline their members in dealing with these sins (a major failing!) But when you suggest that things were so bad that the biblical instructions to masters and slaves did not matter and were rightly thrown out in favor of immediate abolition, you must be wrong.

Abortion is different, because as murder it is unequivocally condemned by Scripture. So maybe immediatism is still the right approach regarding abortion. But since your moral inspiration is consciously and explicitly front-and-center the slavery abolitionists, unless you can show me that you understand this major failing of theirs (throwing out the biblical commands regarding slavery) I am left with the impression that you are falling headlong into their same error, and I cannot follow you. Help me here!

I need to see you clarify your position regarding abolition. When I poke at a certain abolitionist, I want to see you say whether you agree with him at that point. If you fall back behind a generic "No abolitionist was perfect and I don't subscribe to or agree with everything every abolitionist did" type of smoke screen I can't tell where you stand.

As an example, abolitionist William Garrison burned the US constitution. He believed in immediatism. He believed the US constitution was immoral due to its stance on slavery. It was men like Garrison who, with their immediatism and willingness to teach violence against the constitution, led our country to depart farther and farther from constitutional law at all. (How much worse it is to have had Roe v. Wade unconstitutionally forced upon the states!) Garrison also became a staunch feminist (another anti-biblical position).

In what ways was Garrison a role model to you of biblical submission and faithful action? In what ways is he a horrible example whose actions led to the very abortion-on-demand situation you now try to abolish?

You started the comment thread talking about immediatism. I want to see what kind of scrutiny this immediatism can hold up to.

And I want abortion to end now. I think that it's going to have to start in our churches, though, as we preach and teach and discipline. Lord, turn your people back to you!

Love,

Daniel

I'd like to comment on a few things here real quick.

But nowhere in Scripture are there instructions for immediate abolition of having slaves

But man-ownership is a sin, and Scripture says we're supposed to repent of sin immediately.

He believed the US constitution was immoral due to its stance on slavery.

That part of it was, sure enough.  He was right.

violence against the constitution

An expressed desire to reform a document is not "violence" against it. I don't know if that's all that helpful a thing to say.

led our country to depart farther and farther from constitutional law at all

If that was indeed a bad thing, it's among the least of our problems as a nation. I'd need you to provide a detailed historical analysis of how that position led to the massive departures from the Constitution that we see in our modern time, which seems to be the contention you're making.

Garrison also became a staunch feminist (another anti-biblical position).

Nobody is perfect. That is unfortunate, to be sure.

In what ways was Garrison a role model to you of biblical submission and faithful action?

I'll let Russell answer the "faithful action" part, since he's forgotten ten times more about WLG than I've ever known.
But as far as biblical submission, to what do you refer? We don't really cite WLG when we discuss submission, b/c that's not what he's known for. And if you argue that's a bad thing, you'd need to give an argument for that contention. If by "submission" you mean piping down and letting sin go unchallenged in churches and nation, that would be a bad notion of what submission must be.

I think that it's going to have to start in our churches, though, as we preach and teach and discipline.

I don't know if it has to START in churches, but it has to HAPPEN in churches, to be sure. That's what we're about to do a whole conference about here in about three days. :-)  I wish you could be there, but it'll be recorded.

Grace and peace,
Rhology

The strongest argument against incrementalism as a strategy that I have read yet is pro-abortion National Abortion Federation (NAF) founder Frances Kissling's 2011 article in the Washington Post, where she says things like this:

We need to firmly and clearly reject post-viability abortions except in extreme cases. Exceptions include when the woman's life is at immediate risk; when the fetus suffers from conditions that are incompatible with a good quality of life; or when the woman's health is seriously threatened by a medical or psychological condition that continued pregnancy will exacerbate. We should regulate post-viability abortion to include the confirmation of those conditions by medical or psychiatric specialists.

Those kinds of regulations are not anti-woman or unduly invasive. They rightly protect all of our interests in women's health and fetal life.

Ms. Kissling ends with this:

If the choice movement does not change, control of policy on abortion will remain in the hands of those who want it criminalized. If we don't suggest sensible balanced legislation and regulation of abortion, we will be left with far more draconian policies - and, eventually, no choices at all.

She apparently thinks that supporting restrictions on the edge cases is the path to the continued acceptance of abortion. That bothers me.

man-ownership is a sin

Dear Rhology,

But God does not speak of man-ownership as a sin.

'As for your male and female slaves whom you may have--you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you. Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have produced in your land; they also may become your possession. You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves. But in respect to your countrymen, the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another.' - Leviticus 25:44-46 NASB

Job treated his slaves well in the fear of God:

"If I have despised the claim of my male or female slaves When they filed a complaint against me, What then could I do when God arises? And when He calls me to account, what will I answer Him?" - Job 31:13-14

Words to masters:

Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven. - Colossians 4:1

Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ...And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. - Ephesians 6:5, 9

Why not, "Masters, let your slaves go"?

All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against. Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but must serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles. If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, - 1 Timothy 6:1-3

Are these believing masters worthy of all honor while engaged in unrepentant sin?

I think that the gospel leads to freedom of all kinds. Think of a biblical church with slaves and slaveholders in it, partaking of the same Supper, loving each other as brothers in the Lord. How long will slavery last in that culture as the gospel spreads through it? Yet God says nothing about an immediate end to slavery, or slavery being sin in itself. I think you have to argue from the connection to man-stealing, but you still have a leap from there to "slavery must end now". I just don't see it.

Love,

You may have a point there.

I don't see how it applies to immediatism vs incrementalism, however. If your point is correct, there is no reason to abolish slavery at all, is there?

If your point is correct, there is no reason to abolish slavery at all, is there?

Dear Rhology,

I think a biblically faithful approach would have looked a lot different---more like the book of Philemon and 1 Cor 5:1-5 (action in the church). Sorry, that's about as far as I have gotten myself.

On the one hand, since slaveholding in itself is not a sin, efforts (such as AHA's) to show immediatism as a moral imperative based on the supposed moral imperative of immediately ending slavery actually weaken the argument rather than strengthening it.

But I'm not sold on National Right to Life's approach of incrementalism, either. I thought Colorado Right to Life/American Right to Life was the only group doing anything different, but look at the work Right to Life of Michigan has been doing maybe even before them; and look what Georgia Right to Life has accomplished lately, WITHOUT making exceptions about some of those little ones. My heart burns when I see those exceptions.

I'd like to see Indiana get on board with the work too.

Love,

Daniel

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